Noli Me Tangere
Noli Me Tangere, The Opera broke box office records at the CCP. Credits to Noli Me Tangere The Opera Manila.

“Noli Me Tangere, The Opera,” based on Filipino hero Jose Rizal’s 19th-century novel depicting societal cancer, has received multiple invitations for stagings both in the Philippines and around the world.

The Filipino Opera staged by J&S Productions broke box office records at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) during its stagings in March and June 2019.

Noli Me Tangere, The Opera was first staged in 1957 with music and libretto by National Artists Felipe Padilla de Leon and Guillermo Tolentino.

LOOK: Noli Me Tangere The Opera returns to CCP

J&S Productions restaged the opera with the Department of Education (DepEd) bringing public teachers, education officials and staff, and selected students to experience the world-class production of New York-based Jerry Sibal and Edwin Josue.

The recent June 21-23 stagings at the CCP were aptly held during Jose Rizal’s 158th birth-anniversary week.

Noli Me Tangere, The Opera was produced by Edwin Josue and Jerry Sibal. Sibal is the main director, costume and scenic designer who executed the world-class look and feel of the staging at the CCP. Veteran theater director and playwright Jose Jeffrey Camañag was co-director. Maestro Herminigildo Galang Ranera conducted the 53-piece NOLI Symphony Orchestra.

Good News Pilipinas talked to Jerry Sibal about the successful staging of the Filipino Opera and his next projects.

Good News Pilipinas (GNP): Were there differences between the two runs in March and June?

Jerry Sibal (JS): Yes, but only minor changes. I added the front Proscenium with European inspired renaissance design elements with capiz windows – a classic with a twist.

I enhanced and added some of the digital photos to create a dramatic impact.

Some blockings were altered to develop a more cohesive setting.

Some of the audience liked the (June) rerun better the March due to the fact that we had installed a new LED video wall with clearer crisp & sharp images.

For example, in the River scene (Liwanan), it started with a silhouette dawn scene to sunrise to a beautiful bright blue sky river panoramic view.

For the last scene of Maria Clara and Ibarra (Paalam Na) I used just moonlight sonata to depict the sad moments.

READ MORE: Jose Rizal musical in Hongkong stars Filipino kids

GNP: Any more plans to run it again regularly?

JS: Yes! We’re planning to bring it to different provinces, Las Casas Acuzar Bataan, Baguio, Davao, Cebu…

There are invitations to go to Taiwan, Dubai, and Europe.

But in the meantime, we’re working on filming the Noli Opera within its original materials.

We’re surprised by the phenomenal success. The Gen Z and the millennials had spoken. They are starting to appreciate our rich cultural heritage.

They’re our inspirations, for our youth and the new generation to come.

Edwin and I thru our J&S Productions Inc. would continue to work on our mission objective in fostering and promoting the works of our 3 national (icons) Dr. Rizal, F. de leon, and G. Tolentino.

CHECK THIS OUT: Jose Rizal’s ideals showcased in spoken poetry tilt

GNP: What is your message to the Filipino people after this successful staging?

JS: Huwag natin kakalimutan ang mga ninunong nabuwal sa dilim (ating mga bayani) – ang di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan hindi makakarating sa paroronan.

Let us preserve our national language “Tagalog” and promote our classical music.

We’d like to promote education so that hindi tayo magiging alipin sa ating sariling bayan. Halina sa Rizal’s “Lupang Pangako” where peace and pride as Filipinos will linger. Mabuhay ang Sining at Kultura Mabuhay Ang Pilipino!

WATCH this video clip from Noli Me Tangere, The Opera. SHARE your thoughts in the comments below about the relevance of Jose Rizal to our youth today!

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